Valenzuela to comply with new method of classifying COVID-19 recoveries

Published August 2, 2020, 4:20 PM

by Minka Klaudia Tiangco

The Valenzuela city government will comply with the Department of Health’s (DOH) new method of classifying coronavirus disease (COVID-19) recoveries.

The recommendation to implement the “time-based reckoning of recoveries of mild and asymptomatic patients” was approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) on July 30 in its 60th resolution.

With the new classification, probable, suspect, and confirmed COVID-19 patients will no longer have to undergo a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test before they are considered recovered, according to an announcement issued by the Valenzuela city government Saturday night.

Symptomatic patients who no longer display symptoms after three or more days and who have been in isolation for at least 14 days will be considered recovered, even without undergoing a PCR test.

Meanwhile, asymptomatic patients who did not display symptoms after 14 days in isolation will also be considered recovered despite not undergoing another PCR test.

They will only need a doctor’s certification before being allowed to return to their communities.

The new method was introduced as the DOH reported a record-high 38,075 COVID-19 recoveries in a single day, cutting the country’s active cases by over a half.

The practice is in accordance with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation for a “symptoms-based strategy” in releasing COVID-19 patients from quarantine, which it has been pushing for since May.

The health department said there is evidence that patients have a low risk of infecting others at the 10th day of illness.

There are also challenges in conducting repeat tests, such as limited laboratory supplies and equipment, the WHO said.